Health and well-being have long been associated with green spaces. However, in the current climate of weight gain and obesity within the UK the design and promotion of green spaces has become a paramount factor in tackling ill health. Innovative, accessible and connective spaces are now seen as a vital factor in combating health problems in the UK, and in conjunction with initiative such as ‘Walking the way to health’ the UK government is attempting to redress the growing problems of ill health.
This paper will aim to examine the role Green Infrastructure planning can have in encouraging and enabling people to use a wide range of multi-functional green spaces. This will firstly outline the fundamental importance of exposure, connectivity and access in enabling people to use green spaces as part of a healthy lifestyle. Secondly a discussion of the proposed benefits to the social and physical well-being of people using green spaces will be presented. This debate will conclude with an assessment of the available data relating to the financial benefits of green spaces as a restorative aid to health. The paper will use UK examples to support the arguments being presented.
Overall, this paper will attempt to inform the debate on how green spaces can act as both a positive promoter of health and as a facilitator for increased use. This will be done through an examination of UK organisations promoting green spaces as a component of healthy living green infrastructure planning in the UK and the impact of green infrastructure planning.
|Keywords:||Green Infrastructure, Connectivity, Access, Health, Well-Being|
PhD Researcher, Department of Architecture, Planning and Landscape., University of Newcastle, Newcastle, UK
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